Ask the nursing expert: How can I get one of my nurse managers to be less competetive?

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Ask the nursing expert
Ask the nursing expert
Q: I have four nurse managers on my team. One of them is extremely competitive with the other three and is disruptive during our clinical meetings. I have tried a subtle approach to discourage her interruptions, but it is not working. How would you approach this matter?

A: It looks like it is time for a one-to-one meeting with your competitive nurse manager. Let her know that you have noticed this behavior for some time and ask her about why she feels she needs to be so competitive. There is usually a long explanation.

Talk with her about how her behavior is causing discontent among the other managers, and that there is no benefit for the entire team with extreme competitiveness. Work out a plan for her to get the attention she thrives on in a healthier manner.


My facility has been through several directors of nursing in the past two years. My biggest issue is that they are so used to managing themselves. I do not feel that they listen to my direction at all. What should I do?

Start off with staff meetings involving aides, licensed staff and leadership staff with an agenda that includes
your nursing philosophy and views on professionalism (attitude, appearance, quality work) and then talk of expectations.

When there is a gap in leadership, I have noticed that staff will fill in the blanks with what they already know and then lean on each other. That means you should lead by example!

Have a presence on the nursing units and do not be bashful about giving them all a hand with their multitude of tasks. Words have not shown them much in the past, so let your example show them that you are committed to the facility.

Please send your nursing-related questions to Anne Marie Barnett at ltcnews@mcknights.com.